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Fire Safety England Regulations 2022

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    On 23 January 2023, the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 (Regulations) will come into force. They introduce the largest number of changes to existing fire safety law in recent years by implementing the majority of the recommendations set out in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 report. They are laid under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (Fire Safety Order).

    The catalyst for the Regulations is the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire, the consequent Grenfell Tower Inquiry and the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety. The Inquiry published its Phase 1 report in October 2019 and made a number of recommendations (see our briefing here for further details).

    The Regulations follow the commencement of the Fire Safety Act 2021 which clarifies that, for buildings with two or more sets of domestic premises of any height, the Fire Safety Order applies to the structure and external walls (including cladding, balconies and windows) and all doors between domestic premises and common parts. In practice this means that fire risk assessments need to be updated to take into account the structure, external walls and doors.

    The Regulations sit alongside amendments made to the Fire Safety Order by the Building Safety Act 2022, and the Government’s updated fire safety guidance.

    Like the Fire Safety Order, the Regulations impose obligations on the 'responsible person' (RP) of existing residential buildings, who is usually the owner of the common parts or the person with control over the building.

    Reflecting the Phase 1 Inquiry recommendations, the Regulations mainly apply to high-rise residential buildings, defined as a building containing two or more sets of domestic premises that is at least 18 metres above ground level or has at least seven stories.

    The Obligations of Responsible Persons

    For multi-occupied residential buildings of any height with two or more sets of domestic premises with common parts, RPs will be required to:

    • Fire safety instructions: Provide fire safety instructions in a visible part of the building, which will include instructions relating to the evacuation strategy, instructions on how to report a fire to the fire and rescue authority and any other instructions telling residents what they must do in the event of a fire.
    • Fire door information: Provide information to residents on the importance of fire doors, including that fire doors should be kept shut when not in use, tampering with self-closing devices is prohibited and residents should report any faults or damages with doors immediately to the RP, and provide updates of any material changes to the information.

      This information must be provided to existing residents by January 2024, and every new resident as soon as reasonably practicable.

    For multi-occupied residential buildings over 11 metres in height, RPs will also be required to:

    • Fire door checks: Undertake annual checks on fire doors at flat entrance doors and quarterly checks of any fire doors in communal areas of the building.

    For high-rise residential buildings over 18 metres in height or with at least seven stories, RPs will also be required to:

    • Secure information boxes: Install and maintain a secure information box in the building, which must be easily accessible and contain the name and contact details of the RP and hard copies of the building floor plans. This secure information box must be inspected at least annually to ensure it still meets the requirements of the Regulations.
    • External walls: Prepare a record of the design of the external walls of the building, including details of the materials from which they are constructed. This record must include details of the level of risk presented by the external wall in accordance with the risk assessment requirements under the Fire Safety Order.
    • Floor plans: Prepare a plan for each floor of the building. The floor plans must identify the location of all lifts and identify if the lift is one for use by firefighters or an evacuation lift, and the key fire-fighting equipment in the whole building. A single page building plan must also be prepared identifying a number of features of the building, including but not limited to the use of the building, dimensions of the building, access for fire and rescue, the location of the secure information box, main stairwells and number of stories. This information should be stored in the secure information box.
    • Lifts and fire-fighting equipment: Undertake monthly routine checks of lifts for use by firefighters, evacuation lifts and essential fire-fighting equipment within the building and keep records of such checks. Where a fault is identified, this must be rectified within 24 hours beginning with the time the fault was identified and if this is not possible, the fault and date of rectification must be reported to the fire and rescue authority.
    • Wayfinding signage: Install clear markings of floor identification and identification of domestic premises in circumstances where there is limited visibility.
    • Electronic files: Provide the fire and rescue authority by electronic means documents relating to the design and materials in external walls and floor and building plans.


    The Regulations have broadly been welcomed as fire safety improvements, particularly in high-rise residential buildings where building standards can be more restrictive and fire-fighting tactics can be more challenging.

    All RPs need to ensure that they have these requirements in place for buildings under their control. Failure to comply with the Regulations is a criminal offence under the Fire Safety Order. Building owners may need to consult with other stakeholders to satisfy their statutory duties under the Regulations.

    There are also likely to be associated costs with discharging these statutory duties, such as the installation of signage and the maintenance of lifts and fire fighting equipment, the latter of which could need to be refurbished or replaced if not fit for purpose.

    A notable exception to the recommendations implemented by the Regulations are evacuation plans, including Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs). The Government considered PEEPS were practically very difficult to mandate in high-rise buildings. Whilst there is a requirement to provide fire safety instructions which includes information relating to evacuation, some commentators consider this to be insufficient. A judicial review has been brought by a disability group, Claddag, which seeks to reverse the Government's decision not to implement PEEPs. It has been reported that the Government have not made a final decision on PEEPs. Meanwhile, the outcome of the judicial review is expected in early 2023.


    Authors: Eleanor Reeves, Partner; Tom Duncan, Partner; Sadia McEvoy, Expertise Counsel; Elliott Kenton, Senior Associate

    The information provided is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all developments in the law and practice, or to cover all aspects of those referred to.
    Readers should take legal advice before applying it to specific issues or transactions.


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